Glossary

All the terms you
need in our glossary

A
Ambient Light

The light that surrounds an object, providing overall illumination.

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Ambient Occlusion

A shading technique that calculates the darkness in corners and crevices in 3D models.

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Anisotropic Filtering

A texture filtering technique to improve image quality in 3D graphics.

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Aspect Ratio

The proportional relationship between the width and height of an image or screen.

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Augmented Reality (AR)

Overlapping digital content onto the real-world environment.

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B
Bezier Curve

A mathematical curve used in graphic design and 3D modeling.

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Blender

An open-source software for 3D modeling, animation, and rendering.

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Bump Mapping

Simulating small-scale detail on a surface through texture mapping.

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C
CAD (Computer-Aided Design)

The use of computer systems to aid in the creation, modification, analysis, or optimization of a design.

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Chroma Key

A technique used in video production to replace a color with another image or video.

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Clipping Path

A technique used to isolate a specific portion of an image from the background.

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D
Depth Map

A 2D image that contains information about the distance of objects from the viewpoint for creating depth in visuals.

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Digital Sculpting

Creating 3D models by manipulating virtual clay-like material.

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DPI (Dots Per Inch)

Measurement of printing resolution, indicating the number of dots a printer can produce in one inch.

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Dolly Zoom

A cinematographic technique where the camera moves toward or away from the subject while zooming in the opposite direction.

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E
Edge Loop

In 3D modeling, an edge loop refers to a continuous loop of connected edges along a mesh. It plays a crucial role in defining the flow and structure of a 3D model, influencing how it deforms during animation.

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Extrusion

Extrusion is a modeling technique where a 2D shape or face is extended into the third dimension, creating a new geometry. This process is commonly used in both 2D and 3D design to add depth and volume to objects.

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Environment Mapping

Environment mapping is a rendering technique where the reflections and appearances of surfaces are determined by an environmental map, simulating the reflection of the surroundings onto shiny or reflective materials.

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F
Frame Rate

The number of frames displayed per second in animation or video.

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Frame-by-Frame Animation

Animation created by producing individual frames, creating the illusion of motion.

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Freelensing

A photography technique involving detaching the lens from the camera and tilting or shifting it to create unique effects.

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G
Global Illumination

A rendering technique simulating indirect lighting effects for more realistic scenes.

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Grease Pencil

A tool used for sketching directly in 3D space in certain software.

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GPU Rendering

GPU rendering refers to the use of Graphics Processing Units to accelerate the rendering process in 2D and 3D graphics. It leverages the parallel processing capabilities of GPUs to efficiently compute complex rendering tasks, resulting in faster and more efficient graphic computations.

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H
Hard Surface Modeling

Hard surface modeling is a 3D modeling technique focused on creating objects with distinct, well-defined surfaces. It is commonly used for modeling non-organic objects such as vehicles, buildings, or props.

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High-Poly Modeling

High-poly modeling involves creating 3D models with a high level of detail, often for static scenes or detailed renders. This technique is contrasted with low-poly modeling, which prioritizes efficiency for real-time applications.

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Hierarchical Modeling

High-poly modeling involves creating 3D models with a high level of detail, often for static scenes or detailed renders. This technique is contrasted with low-poly modeling, which prioritizes efficiency for real-time applications.

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I
Inverse Kinematics (IK)

Inverse Kinematics is a technique used in animation to control the movement of joints by defining the desired end position. This allows animators to efficiently pose characters or objects while maintaining realistic joint behavior.

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Image-Based Lighting (IBL)

Image-Based Lighting is a rendering technique that uses high-dynamic-range images to simulate realistic lighting conditions in a 3D scene. The surrounding environment’s lighting information is captured in the image, influencing the scene’s illumination.

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Isometric Projection

Isometric projection is a method of representing three-dimensional objects in two dimensions without perspective. It maintains equal measurements along each axis, creating a distorted but visually consistent representation often used in game graphics.

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J
Joint (3D Modeling)

In 3D modeling, a joint is a connection point between two or more objects or components. Joints are pivotal in rigging for animation, determining how parts of a character or model move in relation to each other.

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JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group)

JPEG is a commonly used image compression format developed by the Joint Photographic Experts Group. It is widely utilized for storing and sharing photographic images on the internet, offering a balance between file size and image quality.

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Jitter

Jitter refers to small, random variations or fluctuations in an image or animation. It is often intentionally introduced to create a sense of naturalism or randomness in dynamic visual elements.

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K
Keyframe

A frame that defines the starting or ending points of smooth transitions in animation.

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Keyframe Interpolation

Keyframe interpolation is the process of determining the values between keyframes in animation, allowing for smooth transitions between different poses or states. It influences the motion curve, affecting the speed and easing of animation between keyframes.

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Kinematics

Kinematics is the study of motion, focusing on the relationships between the positions, velocities, and accelerations of objects without considering the forces causing the motion.

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L
Luminance

The intensity of light emitted from or reflected by an object.

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Level of Detail (LOD)

Level of Detail refers to the technique of adjusting the complexity of a 3D model based on its distance from the viewer. This optimization strategy ensures that detailed models are used when necessary, improving performance in real-time applications.

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Lightmap

A lightmap is a precomputed texture containing lighting information for a 3D scene. It is used to simulate realistic lighting effects on surfaces, enhancing the visual quality of rendered scenes in games and architectural visualization.

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Low-Poly Modeling

Low-poly modeling is a 3D modeling technique that prioritizes efficiency by using a lower number of polygons. This approach is common in real-time applications like video games to optimize performance.

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M
Matte Painting

Creating a realistic background for a scene using painting or digital techniques.

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Motion Capture

Recording and translating real-world movements into digital animations.

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Motion Graphics

Motion graphics involve the creation of animated visual elements, often combined with audio, to convey information or tell a story. It is a versatile form of visual communication used in videos, presentations, and multimedia content.

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N
Non-Photorealistic Rendering (NPR)

Creating images that do not attempt to replicate the appearance of the real world.

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Normal Map

A texture map used to simulate high-resolution details on a low-resolution 3D model.

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NURBS (Non-Uniform Rational B-Splines)

NURBS are mathematical representations of 3D geometry used in computer graphics and 3D modeling. They provide a flexible and precise way to define smooth curves and surfaces, making them valuable for creating organic and complex shapes.

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O
OpenGL (Open Graphics Library)

OpenGL is an open-source graphics API widely used in computer graphics to render 2D and 3D graphics. It provides a set of functions for rendering, allowing developers to create interactive and visually appealing applications.

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Octree

An octree is a data structure used in computer graphics and 3D modeling to represent three-dimensional space hierarchically. It subdivides space into octants, facilitating efficient spatial queries and optimizations.

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Outsourcing (3D Modeling)

Outsourcing in 3D modeling involves hiring external artists or studios to handle specific aspects of the modeling process. It is a common practice to leverage specialized skills and resources for efficient project completion.

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P
Parallax Scrolling

A technique where background images move slower than the foreground to create depth.

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Particle System

A technique for simulating dynamic elements like fire, smoke, or rain in animations.

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Pixel Art

Digital art created using tiny, square-shaped pixels.

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Polygon

A flat, two-dimensional geometric shape used in 3D modeling.

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Procedural Generation

Generating content algorithmically rather than manually, often used for terrain or textures.

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Q
Quadratic Bezier Curve

A quadratic Bezier curve is a type of mathematical curve commonly used in computer graphics and design. It is defined by three control points, determining the shape and trajectory of the curve.

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Quaternion

In 3D computer graphics, a quaternion is a mathematical representation of rotation. Unlike Euler angles, quaternions avoid gimbal lock issues and provide a more stable solution for representing orientation.

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QuickTime VR

QuickTime VR is a technology developed by Apple for creating and viewing panoramic images and virtual reality scenes. It allows users to interactively explore and navigate through immersive 360-degree environments.

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R
Rendering

The process of generating a visual representation from a 2D or 3D model.

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Rigging

Preparing a 3D model for animation by creating a skeleton and controls.

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Raster Graphics

Images composed of pixels, where each pixel holds specific color information.

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S
Shading

The process of assigning colors to pixels or vertices in a 3D model.

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Specular Reflection

The reflection of light off a surface, highlighting its shininess.

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Stereoscopy

The creation of an illusion of depth in an image or movie by presenting two slightly offset perspectives.

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Storyboard

A sequence of illustrations or images used to plan a visual narrative.

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Subdivision Surface

A technique used to add more detail to 3D models by subdividing existing surfaces.

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T
Texture Mapping

Applying images or textures to 3D models to enhance their appearance.

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Topology

Topology in 3D modeling refers to the arrangement and connectivity of vertices, edges, and faces in a mesh. Understanding and maintaining good topology is crucial for achieving desirable deformation, animation, and rendering results.

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Transparency Mapping

Transparency mapping is a technique used in texture mapping to control the opacity of certain areas on a surface. It allows for the creation of see-through or semi-transparent effects in 3D models, enhancing realism in rendered scenes.

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U
UV Mapping

The process of mapping a 2D image to a 3D model’s surface for texture application.

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Unified UV Coordinates

Unified UV Coordinates refer to a standardized mapping system for applying textures to 3D models. It ensures consistency across different parts of a model, facilitating the seamless application of textures and materials.

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Unwrapping

Unwrapping is the process of flattening a 3D model onto a 2D plane, creating a UV map. This map is then used for texture application, allowing artists to paint or apply textures with precision on the surface of the 3D model.

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V
VFX (Visual Effects)

The integration of live-action footage and generated imagery to create realistic scenes.

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Vector Graphics

Graphics created using mathematical equations, allowing for scalability without loss of quality.

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Virtual Reality (VR)

A simulated experience that can be similar to or completely different from the real world.

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W
Wireframe

A visual representation of the skeletal structure of a 3D model.

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Wavelength

Wavelength is the distance between consecutive peaks or troughs of a wave. In the context of 2D-3D studio work, understanding the wavelength of light is crucial for accurate color representation, shading, and rendering.

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Workflow

Workflow in 3D modeling refers to the systematic and organized process of creating a digital asset, from conception to completion. A well-defined workflow enhances efficiency, collaboration, and the overall quality of the final product.

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X
X-Coordinate

The X-coordinate is one of the Cartesian coordinates specifying the horizontal position of a point in a two-dimensional or three-dimensional space. It is a fundamental component in determining the location of objects within a coordinate system.

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X-Ray Rendering

X-ray rendering is a visualization technique in 3D graphics that allows users to see through surfaces and view internal structures. It is often used in medical imaging, industrial design, and educational applications.

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Xenon Lighting

Xenon lighting, often used in photography and film production, utilizes xenon gas to produce a high-intensity light source. It provides a consistent and color-balanced illumination, making it suitable for various lighting scenarios.

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Y
Y-Axis

The Y-axis is one of the Cartesian coordinates representing the vertical position of a point in a two-dimensional or three-dimensional space. It is a crucial component for defining the height or depth of objects within a coordinate system.

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YUV Color Space

YUV is a color space representing image information by separating luminance (Y) and chrominance (UV). It is commonly used in video compression and broadcasting, providing efficient representation of color information.

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Y-Axis Rotation

Y-axis rotation is a type of rotation in 3D space where an object or camera rotates around the vertical Y-axis. This movement is essential for changing the orientation or viewpoint of 3D scenes.

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Z
Z-Buffer

A buffer that stores depth information for each pixel in a 3D scene.

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Z-Depth Pass

A Z-Depth pass, often rendered alongside color and other passes, represents the depth information of a scene. It is used in post-production to apply depth-based effects, such as fog or depth-of-field, enhancing the visual depth in 2D and 3D compositions.

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Zoom Lens

A zoom lens is a camera lens with variable focal lengths, allowing photographers or cinematographers to adjust the magnification level without changing lenses. It provides flexibility in framing shots and capturing distant subjects.

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